Contempo Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. 2012

The University of Chicago's in-house contemporary classical ensemble—which draws on the lineups of Eighth Blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet, augmented by musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera—presents a strong program of three works by arguably the most important living Russian composer, 80-year-old Sofia Gubaidulina. The centerpiece is a 13-part chamber cantata for two voices and seven strings, Perception (1981), which employs the Fibonacci series as an organizing principle and combines many of the composer's favorite elements—sacred and mystical themes, modern dissonance juxtaposed with quasi-Baroque lyric beauty, consonant baritone spoken word versus swooping soprano singing. The other two pieces employ relatively stripped-down instrumentation: The Garden of Joys and Sorrows (1980) is a luminous, richly colored meditation for flute, harp, and viola, and the haunting In Croce (1990) uses only cello and a button accordion called the bayan. As usual, Contempo members will be joined by guests including soprano Tony Arnold, harpist Alison Attar, baritone Ricardo Rivera, bassist Collins Trier, and bayan player Stas Venglevski. —Peter Margasak

Price: $25

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